Mental forces LO25352

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 09/18/00

Replying to LO25329 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfried Dressler <> writes:

>There is nothing dialectical in the signal itself, on the
>contrary it is complementary to the aggregate information.
>In your words it is meant to add the lost sheep, the 10 %
>or 1% missing, which must be cared for.

Greetings Winfried,

Perhaps I went somewhat overboard. The "dialectics" (opposing poles) is
something which we read into a pattern which is merely a difference. I
will explain. What I wanted to warn against is seeing the pattern as
"dialectical" rather than "differential and flowing".

>I have to apologize that I was fast in identifying entropic forces
>with algedonic 'forces'. I guess it happened due to the context
>of 'motives' and 'motivation', when it occured first and without
>thorough checking I may have quack-started to quack-use it.
>I hope I could make the topic clearer above.

You did.

Let me explain an "entropic force" once again. Let us begin with the
material world before we move into the mental world. It is in the material
world that our present knowledge on the Law of Entropy Production and its
one-to-many-mappings come from. (I am not preaching materialism here,
although it may easily be mistaken for materialism as many of my learn
colleagues from philosophy reckon.)

Every form of energy may be expressed as the product X x Y of two
COMPLEMENTARY parameters/factors, X and Y. Here the X is extensive and the
Y is intensive. The difference is that when the system is scalled up or
down, the X changes with scaling while the Y stays the same. For
electrical energy the X is electrical charge and the Y is electrical
potential. For light energy colour is intensive and lumenation is
extensive. (Dear Andrew, that is why colour differences have such profound
effects on you as a painting artist ;-)

When a form of energy, say X x Y, gets transformed into other
forms of energy, the following pattern is decisive for "entropy
        [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X
where Y(2) and Y(1) are two measured values of Y. The /_\X is
also calculated as X(2) - X(1), but in this case we should rather
think of a flow of X from Y(2) to Y(1) so that X changes from the
values X(1) to (X(2). I call the difference [Y(2) - Y(1)] an "entropic
force" and the change /_\X an "entropic flux". I do not call the
difference a "thermodynamical force" and the change a
 "thermodynamical flux" since temperature differences are not
necessary to "entropy production" as is believed in "traditional
thermodynamics". I will explain this again in "Work and Free

The two values Y(2) and Y(1) may be the only two values in existence as in
discreet systems. This tend to amplify the dialectics (rather than the
complementary duality). But the two values may also belong to a spectrum
of uncountably many values such as in webbed or continuous systems. It is
in such multivalue systems where dialecticism fails utterly because of the
complexity involved.

When we shift into the mental world, I have to admit that all are
speculations so long as we have no firm empirical evidence that "entropy
production" happens in the mental world too.

A "entropic force" in the mental world can also be called a
"mental force" as I have done in this topic. Crucial in identifying
a mental force are two things:
* and intensive mental property
* two different (not necessarily opposing) values in it.

I have drawn your attention that for multivalue systems opposing duals
fail utterly -- dialecticism per se in the communist world or one of its
hundreds of instantations sold under whatever brand in the capitalistic
world. A multicultural society is a typical example where dialecticism
fails utterly -- for example, a two-party rather than a many-party
democracy. Another unusual example is transdisciplinary thinking.
Carefully observe disciplinarists at work in an interdisciplinary project
to see how much each disciplinarist uses dialecticism (they vs me) until
the polarization of the project causes its demise.

[Dear Winfried, do yourself a favour, but take care not to fall in the
trap of becoming judgemental. Whenever a new, breakthough "managerial
system-methodology or instrument-instructions" is offered for sale, try to
find out whether it is dialecticism dressed with new clothes or not. When
it does have the dialectical pattern, it will also make use of exisiting
polarizations or create new polarizations as a result of being
implemented. It may "work 99%" true, but this always happens at the
expense of polarizations. You are free to consider polarizations as vital
to the well being of an organisation. I think it is a poor substitute for
otherness ("quality-variety") and liveness ("becoming-being").]

The emotion "fear" is for me an intensive property of the mental world. We
can easily introduce scaling by comparing a child with an adult. The fear
of a child is not less than that of an adult, although the mental
development is much less.

The mere difference between two fears may act as a mental force (i.e
entropic force of the mind). It need not be only the difference between an
"algesic" (painful) signal and a "hedonic" (joyful) signal, i.e a
dialectical dual. What I find most saddening is that when two complentary
duals (like male-female) are interpreted as dialectical duals. As I see
it, the viability of any system stems primarily from complementary duals
(liveness) rather than idalectical duals (constructive versus
destructive). Here in South Africa the "male-female" dialectic has become

I think that the source of the dialecticism can be seen when
we look at the symbolic form of a difference in an intensive
mental property, namely
. Y(2) - Y(1)
To be able to calculate the difference mathematically, the one
value Y(2) is given a positive sign (not shown) and the other
value is given a negative sign as shown. But for many forms of
material energy there are intruments available by which we can
read the difference directly without having to calculate it. In
these instruments it is the sign of the difference /_\Y rather than
the signs of "differants" Y(2) and Y(1) which is important!!!

This sign of [Y(2) - Y(1)] as a WHOLE tells us what sign to
expect from /_\X, in other words, in what direction X will flow.
The product of the signs of [Y(2) - Y(1)] and /_\X must be of the
SAME kind (either both negative or either both positive) so that
the "becoming pattern"
. [Y(2) - Y(1)] x /_\X
will always have a positive sign so as to contribute to an
increase in entropy!!!

Dear Winfried, you say "I have to apologize that I was fast in identifying
entropic forces with algedonic 'forces'." The fact that you made such an
"error" is just as important as "apologizing" for it. Between the "less
correct" and the "more correct" version is also an entropic force!!!!!! It
is exactly this mental force, which we call foolishly an "error" or
"mistake", which is so vital to authentic learning!!!!!! The "apology" is
but a small part of the complementary entropic flux, although for some
people this outweighs all the rest of the flux.

Can you now understand why rote learning is so deadly? With rote learning
no "errors" and no "apologies" (entropic forces and fluxes) and thus no
mental entropy production are possible. So, nothing new in mental
organisation is created, creativity is buried and the past is made the
emperor of the future, clothed in customs and traditions to be bought from
the experts rather than given away to the needy. Ohhh, here I go overboard
again .......

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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